How is it treated?
Your doctor may prescribe
medicine to kill the parasite. Treatment also lowers the chance that you will
pass giardia to others. It's important to take the medicine for as long as prescribed, so the infection
does not come back.
In some situations, you may be tested for giardiasis even though
you don't have any symptoms. For example, this could happen during an outbreak
at a day care center. If tests show that you are infected, your doctor may recommend that
you get treatment even if you don't have symptoms. This is because a small
number of people who are not treated get a long-term infection.
If you have diarrhea, try eating small amounts of bland food until you
feel better. This gives your bowel a rest. But you need to take frequent sips
of clear fluids like rehydration drinks to avoid dehydration. This is
especially important for children, because they can become dehydrated
Some people with giardiasis have temporary trouble digesting milk and milk products. This is called lactose intolerance. If you have this problem, avoid these foods for at least 1 month. Then slowly add them back into your daily meals as your body can handle them.
Can giardiasis be prevented?
There are some things
you can do to avoid giardiasis.
- Don't drink untreated or unpurified water.
If you are camping or hiking, boil or purify water from lakes and streams
before you drink it.
- When you travel in high-risk areas, drink
bottled water and avoid raw fruits and vegetables. Don't drink beverages
containing ice cubes.
- Wash your hands often to prevent getting
giardiasis from an infected person. This is very important not only after you
change diapers, use the toilet, or help someone else use the toilet but also
before you prepare food.